Nowadays, we have access to an enormous number of mobile applications. Stores such as Google Play or Apple’s AppStore record billions of downloads every year. Chances are high that our product will disappear in the sea of applications available on the market and that it won’t attract any potential users. So how do you boost your app downloads to make people choose your product over its competitors? The answer is ASO.
What is Aso anyway?
App Store Optimization means optimization and positioning of mobile applications located in app stores. It is a series of activities aimed at increasing coverage, visibility and the number of application downloads. Let’s go through the basics!
The name and the description matters
Apparently we shouldn't judge the book by its cover, should we? Not in this case! The popular expression perfectly reflects the psychology behind the first impression, though it’s not applicable when it comes to the positioning of mobile applications. The title and the description of the application are the most important factors that users pay attention to when searching for an app to download. That's why the name should be short, catchy and show its specificity. However, it’s not as easy as it seems considering the small number of characters we can use. As a reminder - Google Play store lets you enter a title of up to 50 characters, Apple’s App Store allows only 30. Therefore, to compactly introduce all the specific features and include keywords in such a short statement is a challenge that you need to face. It’s worth putting thought into it, as it can pay off in a boost of new users. Remember that most applications are installed through application stores. Expressive and catchy name will allow you to build its effective position. Also, do not forget to choose the right keywords. They certainly shouldn’t be some random guess-work, and the final decision what keywords to choose must be preceded by a thorough analysis of the competition and the clients’ needs.
When the name is ready, it's time to put some thought into the description. There are 4000 characters available and they have to be enough to give a feel of the essence of our app and use all the important keywords (iOS has an additional ‘promotional text’ field used for sharing the news about your application. There are 170 characters allowed here).
The text should be appealing, effortless to read and well laid out. Bolding the most important parts or listing key features in bullet points will surely help. It is worth to keep in mind that there is short description and the main one provided. The first one should contain only the most basic information, but we can put a bit more details in the main one. Remember to keep it catchy, it’s your chance to prove that your app is worth giving it a try!
The first impression counts – graphic design and screenshots
Graphic design is the second most important thing when it comes to putting your app on the market and one of its key part is the icon. It should be neat, pretty and eye-catching. It is also worth to keep the graphics consistent and homogenous with the interface. It’s recommended not to make single elements too small. In such a limited space they won’t be invisible anyway and can spoil the overall perception of the app. A study conducted by the creators of the Piano Master 2 app shows that a good icon can increase the number of downloads by as much as 34% (source: uxplanet.org).
Another simple but crucial thing to keep in mind are screenshots. Just like the icon, the screenshots should be matching the design of the whole application. The screens should highlight the uniqueness of our solution and present how the consumer can benefit from using it - it can be a clear menu, an attractive layout of contents, etc.
User Reviews – something that we don’t have direct influence on
Reviews play an important role when it comes to the final position of the application but, unfortunately, we can’t modify them ourselves. Who doesn’t fall for the magical five stars? Even though we can’t edit the reviews, it’s worth taking care of the factors that translate into customer satisfaction and encourage them to share their opinion. To keep customer satisfaction high we should make sure that our product is playful, intuitive to use, entertaining and bug-free. But even if we have really good software, it doesn’t mean that the users will be willing to write a review. In reality very few users put the effort to rate the app.
In fact, users most often write reviews when something goes wrong and they are disappointed, leaving you with an avalanche of negative comments. You need to start asking customers to leave reviews. Use unpretentious pop-ups that encourage them to review your app and make it incredibly simple to do so. All this will result in a boost of downloads of our app, which will eventually affect the organic traffic.
Tools that might help
Positioning a mobile application is a challenge that requires the involvement of many forces and some solid knowledge. Fortunately, there are some useful tools available, such as Mobile Action and Appflow, to help us out. The first one is a tool that helps us choose the most adequate keywords so that your application is easier to find by potential users. The other one will help you track and manage all reviews and opinions about our product. It is worth getting familiar with them to make sure our actions are aimed at a specific goal. A crucial part of any marketing strategy is constant tracking of the current usage data and optimization of activities. This will help Google Analytics with a properly configured Congo with the implemented tracking ID. Information such as the number of users, the ways and the level of their involvement and their location can significantly affect our strategy.
So what does it all really mean to you?
Building the perfect software is half the battle. The next step is to effectively put it on the market, that will allow you to reach as many people as possible. The positioning of a mobile application is a must-have in such a competitive industry. All of these activities should be given the appropriate weight and be constantly reviewed and assessed to make sure you stay ahead of the game. Good luck!